Three craft fairs are taking place one after the other in the capital city of Nunavut. The first took place on Jan. 28 at the Aqsarniit Hotel.
“This is our first craft fair this year, we would like to start organizing them every few months. We’re trying to get more and more involved in the community by hosting these events and sharing our space here at the hotel and conference centre,” said Edward Mosher, sales and catering co-ordinator at Aqsarniit.
The event was organized by the hotel in collaboration with QIA, which helped to find craftswomen and craftsmen to fill the twenty-eight tables available at the venue. In the end, sixteen tables were filled up, free of charge for any land claim beneficiaries.
“There was a variety of products being sold: country food, seal skin, clothes, earrings and jewellery, handmade products,” added Mosher.
The second craft fair takes place on Feb. 4 and is organized by Naja Marie Ruhiyyih Fennell.
“Aqsarniit Hotel gave us the venue for free, which meant that participants don’t have to pay for a table, it’s good for all of us. They want to promote this sort of event for the community,” said Marie Ruhiyyih Fennell.
The craftswoman will have a table herself, selling jewellery, crochet and sewn products with her son. William Marie Ruhiyyih Fennell, eight-year-old craftsman and baker, is selling cookies and banana bread along with some sewn pieces he has made.
Attending craft fairs is something Marie Ruhiyyih Fennell has done all of her life. “I remember being very young and attending to be by my brother and sister’s side,” she said.
Thirty tables are available, again free of charge for elders and beneficiaries. Elders are invited to reserve tables in advance as they were given priority over the kiosques available.
Marie Ruhiyyih Fennell said these fairs are really appreciated as they help to put food on the table for people in need.
“They really come in handy for students. It’s not always easy to work and study at the same time, especially for the ones who have to take care of children at home,” she added.
A wide variety of products will be available on Feb. 4.
“We really have a bit of everything, from bath bombs, cooked foods, baked goods, mitts, sushis, even homemade dog treats,” said Marie Ruhiyyih Fennell.
Another craft fair takes place at the Inuksuk High School gymnasium on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The event is a gathering of Inuit educators from Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, Nunavut, Greenland, Alaska and Norway. Tables are available for $25 and interested sellers can contact Lisa Schellenberger to make a reservation.